by Habib T

The Asian and Middle Eastern metal scene melted into a brutal and unforgettable night of musical mayhem in Dubai’s Music Room on Friday, March 13th. Resurrection Metal Night, organized by Studio 77 of Bahrain, featured 5 bands from the region: Maticrust (UAE/Philippines), Smouldering in Forgotten (Bahrain), Devoid (India), Creative Waste (Saudi Arabia), and Stigamata (Sri Lanka).

The venue was already packed when UAE-based Filipino grindcore band Maticrust began playing their set of brutal and fast-paced songs, which included both covers and original songs. The covers they played with their own style included “Deceive” by British band Extreme Noise Terror. Their original songs also were also appropriate for the heaviness of the night’s bands. “Identify and Attack”, “Forced Patriotism”, and “Die in Vain” preceded their final song, “Their Lies”. Maticrust set the stage for the epicness of the following bands. A fitting overture for an unforgettable night.

Maticrust - Photo Credit: Chris Barnett

Up next were Bahraini Blackened Death Metallers Smouldering in Forgotten, who are forerunners in the Arab Extreme metal scene. Darkness and despair descended on the Music Room as the band began their opus of doom and destruction along with the crowd’s moshing. They began their set with their renowned song “Dread Messiah” off their 2010 album, I, Devourer, as well as the title track. They continued their set with a particularly powerful group of songs such as “Siren of Truth” and a cover of Venom’s “Black Metal”. They had brought so much dark yet positive energy to the Music Room by the time they played their last song “Reborn as One”. A captivating, immersive set indeed from one of the region’s most extreme and underground bands.

Smouldering in Forogtten - Photo Credit: Christ Barnett

After that, India’s Death/Thrash band Devoid proved to be no less brutal than the other bands. Their electrifying performance was essential for Resurrection Metal Night. Playing tracks from both their debut album A God’s Lie and their recent EP The Invasion such as “Brahma Weapon”, “Possessed”, “Battle Cry”, and “Grand Design”. They also played a new song called “God Complex”, from their upcoming album. The stage lights that set in during their turn on the stage perfectly complemented the mood of their music. A moshpit was more than necessary. They concluded their set with a cover of a Slayer classic, “Disciple”. A powerful and energizing performance by a promising band from a country that is producing plenty of talent in the metal genre.

Devoid - Photo Credit: Munem Qureshi (Team MQ Photography)

Hailing from the region’s most underground scene, Saudi Arabian grinders Creative Waste were ready to lay waste to the Music Room with their crushing tunes. Emphasizing the grindcore concept of the microsong, the band were able to play 13 songs in their set while keeping up the energy of the crowd that was already drained by the previous bands’ performances and accompanying moshing. They played a mix of songs from their demo, their debut album, and their upcoming release such as “Opposing Reality”, “Slaves to Conformity”, and “Divide and Conquer”. The new songs they included in their set are “Enemy”, “Retribution”, and “The Illusion is Real”. In addition to being one of the few grindcore bands in the region, Creative Waste proved to be excellent representatives of the Saudi metal scene abroad.

Creative Waste - Photo Credit: Chris Barnett 

 Resurrection Metal Night was concluded by an epic performance from Sri Lanka’s metal veterans, Stigmata. Celebrating their 15th anniversary with their first performance in Dubai, they put out a brilliant, mesmerizing set full of guitar solos, sexy bass lines, and varied vocal techniques and ranges. Appealing to a varied audience of music lovers, Stigmata brought the best out of their musical influences in their set, beginning with their song “Jazz Theory”. They also played songs such as “Our Decay” and “Lucid”, and instrumentals like “Andura”. They also performed Yngwie Malmsteen’s “Blitzkrieg” and Judas Priest’s “Painkiller” in their own unique style, and ended their set with the epic “March of the Saints”. At one point, their vocalist Suresh de Silva said that he was told by someone in the washrooms between songs that their band is not metal at all, so the band decided to prove him wrong with their performance, because it was surely metal as fuck!  “Metal is all about expressing yourself!” said Suresh, and his band did just that. A magnificent set from an underappreciated scene.

Stigmata - Photo Credit: Chris Barnett 

Overall, Resurrection Metal Night was a treat for the lovers of metal (and its various subgenres) in Dubai and elsewhere in the region. The bands were friendly with their fans and provided an extremely positive atmosphere. It was one night full of musical chaos and ingenuity. Here’s to hoping Dubai sees more shows like this that showcase diverse talents from across the region! 

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